Millions of bacterias live in our human body and many of them provide numerous health benefits. The harmless bacteria present in our digestive tract not only improve the digestive system but are really beneficial for improving overall health. These bacterias help reduce gas problems, maintain good cholesterol levels, aid the regulation of hormone levels, help in the formation of vitamins, aid in the production of the enzyme lactase and also boost the immune system.
Probiotics are good bacteria that mainly focus on boosting our immune system and are required for daily digestive functions. Some types of probiotics shorten the duration of diarrhea and prevent hospitalization. Other types are believed to stimulate the immune system. Some studies also show some promise with probiotic use to treat colic, reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, allergies, asthma, eczema, colitis and Crohn’s disease. Recent study found that children who took probiotics every day for three months had less respiratory infections and diarrhea. Infants and toddlers who ate probiotic foods mainly yogurt early on while having diarrhea from acute viral gastroenteritis experienced a shorter duration of diarrhea by about one day. The best way to replenish probiotics is to add fermented foods like following
Curd contains live active cultures that are extremely beneficial for one’s digestive system. It is best to stick to the homemade version and let it ferment for a full 24 hours so that majority of the lactose (milk sugar) is used up and the strength of the probiotic culture has been established. Store bought curd are often made using chemical agents and not fermented long enough.
* Keppai Koozh-Ragi Porridge
Being rich in iron, ragi consumption helps to improve the hemoglobin levels. Mix ragi flour with enough water and leave it overnight or for 5-6 hours to ferment.Then add buttermilk in the morning with pearl onions or pickles or finely chopped raw mangoes as a side dish. Ragi koozh a perfect cooling drink and its very good for the health. It has amazing amount of iron, Vitamin B, complex protein, amino acids, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium and can be given to babies from age 5+ months as baby food like a porridge
Fresh yogurt blended with room temperature water. Thinning yogurt with water and blending it changes its molecular structure making it easier to assimilate. Lassi is an excellent drink to have with meals.
* Idlis,dosa,Appam,Uthappam and Paniyaram
Prepared by fermenting rice and urad daal, this dish makes a rich source of live cultures of good bacteria. Plus, they are low in calories too..
Most people avoid pickle considering it a big bad lump of oil and salt. But the process of making this tasty concoction — vegetables and fruits mixed with sugar, salt, herbs and oil are allowed to ferment under the sun – favours the growth of good bacteria. Store-bought pickles often lack the natural enzymes so relish the one your granny makes.
The dish is made using a batter of fermented besan (gram flour), dal or rice. Plus, the recipes use curd which adds an additional shot of probiotics.
* Cottage Cheese
Some brands of cottage cheese do contain live cultures. It just isn’t that common to find in cottage cheese as it is in yogurt.A cottage cheese product will likely be labeled “Live and Active Cultures” or contain similar verbiage if it has live cultures. The ingredients may also indicate the strains of probiotics. Some typical strains are L. actobacillus L. Casei, and B. bifidum. Many brands will not have live cultures.
jalebi is a popular sweet from the indian cuisine. To make jalebi, first the flour batter is fermented then later, the batter is poured in a spiral shape in hot oil and deep fried. These fried spirals are soaked in sugar syrup for a few minutes and then served.
Actually this is a common breakfast again in south India, water is added to the rice made at night to a point where the rice is submerged in the water. Then it is left to ferment at room temperature. On the next morning fresh curd is added to the rice water mixture and consumed with added salt.This food is a rich source of vitamins B complex and minerals. It has good microbes that are beneficial for your digestion.